John Holdipp Suggests ‘Entertainment Edifice’

August 16, 2013

[Opinion column written by John H. Holdipp III]

Casinos may look good if you have tunnel vision, but the truth of the matter is the solution has to involve the people who reside here. The casinos will only financially nurture those who invest their dollars in the business and/or at the tables.

The vision that I am encouraging us to consider will invigorate the whole community. No this is not a hotel, but an entertainment edifice that can provide employment for many Bermudians and invited guest workers. It will stand to serve both the local sporting enthusiasts as well as the visitors and tourist alike. It will create a paradigm shift in our economy that we can use to develop our economic fortitude.

The uniqueness is it has functionality during all forms of weather except extreme blowing storms. More importantly it will be functional all year round and will help to keep and maintain open space for tomorrow’s generations. At the moment there are four sporting activities that can be used in tandem in one location.

That being karting and cycling which are now functioning at Southside, then there is the harness racing which is at Vesey Street. The other sports activity which would bode well with the three listed, would be proper horseback racing as in the days of Shelly Bay racing.

Combined at the same venue these would provide between approximately 300 to 500 employment opportunities outside of the grandstand and retail boutiques. That is not including the number of personnel that would be required to provide their services and skill sets within the grandstand, dining areas, restaurants, bakeries, retail stores, and internal framework of this superb edifice.

Externally, after building the needed facialities a large maintenance crew would need to be a part of the staff. Likewise a security force, perhaps the Bermuda Regiment could attain full-time experience in this aspect.

Landscapers, gardeners, grounds personnel, groomers, daily work-riders, stable attendants, trainers and their support teams, veterinarians and their staff. Jockeys, riders and drivers along with trainees of each discipline. Of course a contingent of fire personnel would also have to be present.

Other support services would include on-site physicians and nurses with ambulance personnel. A police unit would have to be stationed at the venue. The public service drivers of buses, taxis, mini-buses and water-taxis would find themselves continually engaged in trade. The surprise for them would be the year-round glut of work rather then the standard few months of each year. The lawyers, accountants, managers, directors, IT technicians and media and marketing staff would drive the number of people employed up considerably.

The sequence of activity at the grandstand, ball-room, restaurants, bakeries and retail outlets will require a large consortium of staff, including but not limited to the following – house persons, servers, bartenders, busboys, captains, chefs of all kinds, bakers, ice sculptors, cake decorators, waiters. Others would include musicians, artists, dancers, entertainers, booth operators, switch board operators, and there would be a need for part-time workers in some areas.

The idea is to create both day and night activity in respect to the sports disciplines. The ballroom should be large enough with a relevant size kitchen to comfortably seat and serve 1000 to 1500 persons. This could also function as a staging place for large corporate meetings from overseas companies.

The restaurants, bakeries could become viable options for cruise-ship visitors rather than having them scurring back to their respective ships for lunch or even dinner.

The goal is to harmonise what we have to offer in order to provide a complete experience for all who attend this park. Night entertainment provided by locals can flow into the morning as there will be no neighbours to fuss about noise pollution.

- John H. Holdipp

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Comments (20)

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  1. interested says:


    • Lebron says:

      Are you kidding me? This is thought up by a 5 year old. Harness Racing? Policed by the Regiment?

      Aside from verging on the ridiculous, this has zero chance of getting close, we just don’t have the people or resources to take on something like this, nor does this country need to turn itself into some adult disney monstrosity.

      Whilst it is no cure all, a casino will help, and it needs to be in town to harness high spending business travellers as well as tourists. Let the people decide, call a vote.

  2. Truth is killin' me... says:

    Alrighty then…

  3. Come Correct says:

    Mr. Holdipp, relative to our politicians, governing and opposition, rarely publicly speaks his mind but is always worth reading/listening to. I guess pink cocktails will do while we increase the penalty on drunk driving. Our current premier has nothing on this man. Premier Holdipp? I’d vote yes. IMHO this man has vision, logic and seems far from self serving.

  4. We all we got says:

    I rate it but who is really listening..

  5. He is your king to be says:

    Isn’t he the king of Zamunda? He had a much and only one person showed up!

    • Mazumbo says:

      It takes a fool to make fun of an attire that has the oldest culture in the world! And it took one man to build an ark. LMAO

      • Mazumbo says:

        To prove how warped people are we make fun of a black man wearing his traditional attire but when Chinese ,Sri Lankans, or other ethnic group wears their attire its normal. I guess where stuck with de suit and tie !!!!!!!!!!! LMAO

  6. 32n64w says:

    Has Mr. Holdipp been to the National Centre lately? Almost all of the necessarybinfrastructure is already there, however, the demand is not (yet at least).

  7. Milton says:

    I agree, and Bermuda needs a waterpark already

  8. Eastern says:

    Mr. Holdip is barking up the right tree, but where is all this money coming from? Casinos should only be in the hotels; not a John Swan owned casino and not on Wight’s Island, but in the major hotels ONLY.

  9. Back of town speaks says:

    I agree with this vision, now lets see the wealthy who is sitting on the moldy money invest in it. It does not have to always be 5 star…Bermuda always want to spend top dollar to impress when we just need to get something moving. NOW not in 20 years.

    • jt says:

      The wealthy have mouldy money because they recognize a good investment when they see it. They won’t be throwing it at this.

  10. Gandalf The Grey says:

    Where is all this money coming from to develop this “grandstand”? and where is this “edifice” going to be constructed?

    It’s OK to dream big, but this is fantasy! Totally laughable!

    Instead of writing opinion columns, Mr. Holdipp should consider a career as a writer of fantasy/fiction.

    I think a magic wand would go nicely with the rest of your costume Mr. Holdipp. :)

    • Mazumbo says:

      @Gandalf The Grey if you have a problem with the messenger or the message that’s your problem, that’s not my concern.
      But to make fun of his attire and call it a costume is an insult to Africans especially those of us who live in Bermuda, the correct word is Dashiki which is very common in West Africa and is normal for kings , dignitaries , politicians and the common man to wear . Because its not common for a black man to wear them in the Western Region dos’nt give you the right to make fun of someones culture. I don’t know what your culture is but you need to learn how to respect others. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Gandalf The Grey says:

        @Mazumbo Obviously, you completely missed the point of my post. I did not intend to make fun of Africans or African culture. My last sentence was only a rhetorical device used to point out the fantastical nature of the remarks Mr. Holdipp made in his opinion piece.

        Please take off your black and white colored shades and stop reading race into everything.

        Oh, by the way, I am a person of African descent. Surprise!! :)

  11. campervan says:

    More grandiose pipe-dreams from the little Island that chased away foreigners and their capital, and continues to exist in a state of denial.
    Dreaming of a time gone by when taxi drivers and barmen made six figure salaries, and there were two jobs available for every citizen.
    Its time to face up to reality, this is the new norm. Kind of like the rest of the World.
    How can you possibly make the above concept work,when the small population here struggles to finance Sandys 360.
    Lets get real people.

  12. Mike Hind says:

    Why does it have to be “instead of”?

    And I disagree that gaming would only help those investing. Jobs would be created, entertainment – important to me, as a Bermudian- would HAVE to be supported and because gaming is more of an indoor attraction for the island, it’s not season~ or weather dependent, giving Bermudians employment through the year, not just in the casinos, but in retail and service industries.

    I don’t have a problem with Mr. Holdipp’s suggestion, but not as an alternative to gaming.

  13. Sandy Bottom says:

    So corporate visitiors and tourists will come here and watch harness racing?

    Back to the drawing board.